Branch Practice at Islip 7th January 2020

St Nicholas, Islip

A very healthy 18 ringers from seven towers came to the first Branch Practice of 2020 at Islip on the 7th January, including two new recruits from Charlton, who got a number of goes at handling practice.

In charge were Richard and Jeremy our Ringing Masters, who were keen to get all eight bells going as much as possible, so we started with Plain Hunt on seven with Mandy, Andrew and Gerald from Weston and Chris and Jane from Bicester.

From there we rang a number of rounds and call changes on eight for our less experienced ringers, then a number of plain courses of Grandsire Doubles, with Judith inside and Sue covering. Gerald and Andrew had turns at ringing the 2 to these

After more rounds and call changes, we rang a touch of Grandsire Doubles, again with Judith inside and Sue covering, Faye, Jeremy and Teresa supporting.

More rounds and call changes followed, with a couple of plain courses of Plain Hunt on five, then a plain course of Plain Bob Minor for our helpers and Sue trebling, assisted by Judith.

A full practice again, with very encouraging numbers.  Hope to see lots of you at the next Branch Practice at Bicester on 21st January.

Special Practice at Kirtlington 16th December 2019

Thirteen ringers from four branches came to our final Special Practice of 2019 at Kirtlington, led by Richard, our joint ringing master supported by Kathryn, Malcolm, Clare, Charles and Rachel, Ron and Jane Burgess.
We welcomed Elaine from Ludgershall for the first time to Kirtlington tower, and Jane from Bicester, returning after four decades.
After raising in peal, we rang rounds and call changes for Elaine, Fay and Jane, then an attempted touch of Stedman Triples, which we tried at a later point, getting a little further.
 Next we rang a plain course of Bob Triples for Charlie inside, with some nice striking.
After some more rounds and call changes we rang a nice touch of Grandsire Triples, called by Charles, Kathryn Grant trebling.
Next up we rang a reasonably well-struck plain course of Bob Major, for Charlie to treble to. Well done, Charlie!
As Cambridge was on the billing (and quite a few of our helpers were hoping to get a chance to ring it), we attempted Cambridge Major, which unfortunately fired out after 1 and a half leads.
After some nicely struck call changes we then made a fair attempt at spliced Plain and Little Bob Major, with Charlie trebling again, getting a reasonable way through.
Our second attempt of Stedman Triples was followed by a completed touch of Grandsire Triples, called by Richard with Kathryn inside, with the practice ending in some rounds on eight.
An enjoyable Practice, with a big thank you to Richard for leading us and our helpers from near and further afield who enabled us to ring a good range of methods on 7 and 8.
 A very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all.
Hope to see lots of you at the first Branch Practice of 2020 at Islip on the 7th of January.

Branch Practice at Charlton 5th December 2019

Thirteen ringers came to last night’ practice at Charlton on Otmoor, including four of the Charlton team. Besides Willie Haynes el Presidente, last night’s proceedings were led by Richard and Jeremy, with Kathryn and Anne helping ring methods inside. It was good to see the Weston team out in force, as well as Sue from Islip seeking to gain trebling practice. A good number indeed, aiming to restore the sound of Charton’s fine bells to the village.

After ringing up the team rang a set of call changes on all six, effectively Plain Hunt on six, then a plain course of Bob Minor, Sue trebling. We rang sets of Plain Hunt doubles for the Charlton and Weston teams, then touches of Plain Bob Doubles and Grandsire Doubles for Sue to Treble to.

Marking the progress that the Weston team has made in the past year, we were able to ring plain courses of Bob Doubles with Mandy, Gerald and Andrew taking turns to ring treble. Andrew also enjoyed ringing the stately tenor to one of the courses. Well done to them!

More call changes followed as well touches of Grandsire Doubles and an attempted touch of Reverse Canterbury Doubles.

Thank you all for coming. Hope to see lots of you at the final Special Practice of 2019 on 16th December at Kirtlington (Cambridge Surprise Minor and St Clements Bob Minor on the menu – or whatever we can achieve), then the final Christmas social also at Kirtlington on 23rd December.

Special Practice at Weston on-the-Green 21st November 2019

Seven ringers attended this month’s special practice at Weston, including a very welcome appearance by Tony Crabtree, visiting the tower to advise on planned improvements to the ring of bells.

Proceedings were led by Jeremy Adams with support from Teresa Carter and Faye. The local Weston ringers were in attendance of course, and the ringing menu was structured around them: being Plain Hunt on 5 and plain courses of Grandsire.

We also had Barbara, a potential new recruit from Weston, come to see what ringing was about and who had a try at backstroke. She was not put off by the experience!
Our next practice is on 5th December at Charlton on Otmoor. Hope to see lots of you there!

Branch Practice 6th November 2019 at Bletchingdon

St Giles, Bletchingdon
Seventeen ringers came to last night’s Branch Practice at Bletchingdon, a very encouraging number. El presidente Willie was there in good form, together with Jeremy and Richard.
We were also joined by a full Weston contingent.
For Margie we rang rounds and as our number included several keen to practice Plain Hunt, we rang several courses of Plain Hunt Doubles, followed by plain courses of Grandsire Doubles, giving Gus, Brenda, Andrew, Mandy and Gerald opportunities to ring treble, two and tenor.
We also rang some plain courses of Bob Doubles for Sue.
For Tim, Judith, Faye and Anne we rang some touches of Grandsire Doubles, including a different 80 blow touch.
Finally we rang a couple of touches of Plain Bob Minor, the first with Faye trebling, the second Sue M trebled, gaining a real sense of accomplishment.
A very full practice and great to see so many from the Branch and outside.
Hope to see lots of you at this month’s special practice in 21st November at Weston on the Green.

Special Practice at Souldern 15th October 2019

Twelve ringers attended last night’s special practice at Souldern, which has a ring of six traditional sounding bells that “go” very well after recent improvements. We gave a special welcome back to Anthony our previous Ringing Master, and Sam, as well as to Charles and Rachel from ONB branch. In charge were Richard and Jeremy, also in attendance were Teresa and Kathryn.

After ringing up we rang a touch of Grandsire Doubles called by Anthony, a touch of Bob Minor, then a touch of Stedman Doubles for Teresa and Anne, called by Charles, followed by a plain course of Kent Minor for Jeremy and Kathryn.

For Sam we rang three Plain courses of Bob Doubles then some more Bob Minor for Anne. Wishing to extend the repertoire and make use of our experienced ringers we rang a touch of Reverse Canterbury Bob Minor, a Plain course of Cambridge Minor, followed by touches of Bastow Little Bob Minor.

After another touch of Bob Minor we had a good lower in peal. A very enjoyable practice, a chance to meet up with old friends and an opportunity to make a good sound in a tower where, unfortunately there is no local team.


The team at Souldern 15/10/2020

Hope to see lots of you at Branch Practice at Bletchingdon on 6th November.

Branch Practice 1st October 2019 at Islip.

St Nicholas, Islip

A very encouraging nineteen from seven towers and three branches attended last night’s practice at Islip, including a big welcome to Malcolm and Claire, who rang in the Branch a while ago.
Proceedings were led by our joint Ringing Masters Richard and Jeremy. Teresa and Kathryn we’re also in attendance.

We kicked off with rounds for some of our recent recruits from Ludgershall.
Next we rang a number of courses of Plain Hunt on 5 with Sue C, Mandy, Gerald and Andrew.

For James we rang a few courses of Grandsire Doubles, then for Sue a couple of plain courses of Plain Bob Doubles.

As we had the numbers, we rang a touch of Plain Bob Triples, called by Richard, also a plain course of Kent Minor with Kathryn inside.

Back to Plain Hunt, this time on 7 for Sue, Gerald and Gill, then Plain Hunt on 5 for Andrew ad Mandy.

Finally, a touch of Grandsire Triples, Sally trebling and Kathryn inside to finish off before ringing down in peal.
A very full practice with something for everyone. Hope to see lots of you at this month’s special practice at Souldern on 15th October.

Branch Striking Competition 7th September 2019

This year an impressive seven teams (considering the size of the branch) and over 40 branch members, partners and friends attended the branch striking competition on Saturday 7th, again kindly hosted by Islip and enjoyed the barbecue afterwards at Kathryn’s house. This was a strong contrast with last year’s reduced competition where only two “tower” teams and a small number of “harlequin” teams took part.

First up was a Bicester team, supplemented by Ludgershall, ringing a number of plain courses of Grandsire doubles, scoring 57 faults.

Next was Islip, the local team, again choosing plain courses of Grandsire Doubles and scoring 165 faults.

Third was a scratch team from Kirtlington and Bletchingdon, ringing a set of call changes, scoring 192 faults, improving through the call changes section after a tricky set of rounds.

Fourth up was Weston on the Green, including three ringers who only started ringing for the first time in September 2018, assisted by Jeremy, Kathryn and Steve. Again, a set of call changes was rung and a very creditable 68 faults scored. Well done to Weston!

Fifth was the experienced Ludgershall team, ringing a touch of Plain Bob Doubles, scoring an impressive 38 faults and winning the competition.

Sixth was a harlequin ladies’ team, ringing Grandsire Doubles and scoring 70 faults, while the final team was a harlequin young ringers’ team, comprising Islip’s youngest recruits and Charlie from Kirtlington. This team only rang part of the allotted 5 minutes and achieved a score of 120 faults, after rounding up to the equivalent time.

A big thank you to our judges, Katie Lane, Guild Master, and David Cornwall, who undertook the scoring. Also thank you to former branch member Louise Brown, who acted as time-keeper in the tower. [Photo of Ludgershall]

Team scores in ascending order

Team Score Notes
E  Ludgershall 38
A  Bicester 57
D  Weston on the Green 68
F  Ladies’ team 70
G  Young ringers 120 Faults adjusted to full length of test piece
B  Islip 165
C  Kirtlington/ Bletchingdon 192

Special practice 18th July 2019 at Kirtlington

St Mary's, Kirtlington

A special set of seven ringers attended tonight’s Special practice at Kirtlington, somewhat fewer than the multitude that descended on Launton at the beginning of July. Perhaps partly due to the fact that this practice had been re-scheduled from its original date of Monday 15th July. We were very grateful for the strong Ludgershall presence of three ringers, including Richard, our joint ringing master.

After ringing up and eschewing Stedman, we aborted an attempt at St Simon’s Bob Doubles, then went for our first touch of Grandsire Doubles, with Judith ringing 5 observation, then the first plain course of Kent Minor, Fay on Treble, Jan, Andy and Kathryn inside.

Next up we rang Plain Bob Minor, Judith having her first go at treble, assisted by Kathryn.

After 120 touch of Grandsire Doubles, Judith on 5, we rang some more Kent Minor, then a much better struck touch of Plain Bob Minor and even some plain courses of Little Bob Minor, Judith trebling, before we rang down in peal.

A very nice practice, with  quality  rope time for most.

Next Branch practice is on Friday 2nd August at Caversfield. See you then.

Special Practice 19th June 2019 at Bletchingdon

Eleven ringers from seven towers came to last night’s special practice at Bletchingdon, with Plain Hunt and Grandsire Doubles on the agenda.
We kicked off with Plain Hunt on 5 for Mandy, Gus and Andy, helped by Jeremy, Judith, Sue, Rosemarie, Anne and Fay.
Next we tried Churchyard Bob with Sally on Treble, giving a gentle introduction to hunting over all the heavier bells in turn.

Turning to Grandsire, we rang a 120 Change touch with Judith, Fay and Anne inside and also some plain courses with Sue on 3 and Rosemarie on 5.

We had Sally in again ringing treble to Plain Hunt on 5, Judith helping, which was her best effort to-date, making great progress. I think Sally was quite pleased afterwards. Well done, Sally!

During a break in Ringing we presented Mandy and Rosemarie with their ART LtR Level 1 and 3 certificates, respectively, and Rosemarie received a card and mounted photos of favourite towers and ringing moments, as she will be sadly leaving us for Germany shortly.

Back to Grandsire, another first was achieved, this time Andy trebling with increasing confidence to some plain courses. Well done to Andy.

Gus was inside again, consolidating no. 3 to Plain Hunt.

Finally, we rang a different 120 Change touch of Grandsire, showing Rosemarie work at bobs and singles, before ringing down.

A really good practice. Well done to all and thank you to Jeremy, Fay and Anne for leading and helping us.

Rosemary receiving her ART certificate